Traffic stop yields drugs, alcohol

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 11, 2003

WINTON – Despite a few critics, it appears the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) is worth the local funds invested into the program.

Recently, TEU officers have made several major drug arrests – a four-pound marijuana haul two weeks ago and $28,000 worth of crack cocaine seized this past weekend.

The latest of those arrests occurred Saturday night where TEU Deputy Neil Ambrose arrested a Suffolk, Va. man on three felony counts of cocaine possession as well as charging him with several traffic violations, including DWI.

Shuan Lorenzo Faulk, 27, of Ellis Road in Suffolk is currently behind bars in the Hertford County Jail under a $302,500 bond. He is also incarcerated without bond on a fugitive warrant issued by the Virginia Beach Police Department in regards to Faulk being listed as a habitual DWI offender.

According to Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan, Deputy Ambrose was patrolling U.S. 13 between Winton and Ahoskie at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday when he observed a 1997 Pontiac exceeding the posted speed limit. Upon initiating the traffic stop, Ambrose noticed a strong smell of alcohol emitting from the vehicle’s interior. He then noticed, in plain sight, two bottles of liquor, one with a broken seal.

&uot;Deputy Ambrose then had probable cause to conduct a more extensive search of the vehicle at which time he discovered two bags of crack cocaine,&uot; stated Sheriff Vaughan.

The Sheriff confirmed those bags contained a combined four ounces of cocaine, listed at a street value of $28,000.

Deputy Ambrose charged Faulk with three felonies – possession with intent to manufacture, sale and deliver cocaine, trafficking cocaine by possession and trafficking cocaine by transportation. Additional charges were filed for DWI, speeding, no operator’s license and driving while consuming alcohol.

Faulk’s vehicle was seized in the arrest, as was $802.18 in cash and a cellular telephone.

&uot;I commend Deputy Ambrose for performing a fine job in making this arrest,&uot; said the Sheriff. &uot;Our TEU was designed to not only protect our county citizens and other law-abiding citizens who travel our roadways against traffic violators, but also to stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into and through Hertford County.&uot;

The Hertford County TEU, which employs Ambrose and one other full-time deputy, is currently in the second year of a three-year grant jointly funded by the Governor’s Highway Safety Commission and Hertford County. At its conception, several local citizens voiced displeasure over the fact that Hertford County was spending money for, in their opinion, deputies to perform the same duties as the North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers already enforcing traffic laws in the county.

&uot;The way I see it, the more law enforcement officers we have on our area roadways enforcing the traffic laws, then the safer our roadways will become,&uot; stressed Sheriff Vaughan. &uot;Our TEU was not designed to take the place of the Highway Patrol. Rather, we’re working together in an effort to protect the law-abiding motorists that use the roads here in Hertford County. Saturday’s arrest is a testament to that ongoing effort.&uot;